Best Lawn Sprinkler: Choosing the Best One for You

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What Is a Lawn Sprinkler?

A lawn sprinkler is a device used to irrigate a lawn. Specifically, it is used to apply water to grass and vegetation that you want to grow. A sprinkler mimics how rainfall would water your lawn. The water is distributed by pipes and a faucet which is usually connected to a hose. The hose is then connected to the lawn sprinkler. The sprinkler breaks up the water and shoots it through the air as small water droplets on the lawn. The general design of a sprinkler system, also known as an irrigation system, is to apply water to a lawn as evenly as possible. You can buy small sprinklers on Amazon or other online dealers to be shipped right to your home. Or, sprinklers can be purchased at local hardware or home improvement stores. In this article, I will be reviewing our top picks for the best lawn sprinklers available.

Advantages/Reasons for Buying

There are many advantages and reasons for buying a lawn sprinkler. First, is the obvious reason to water your lawn. There is the aesthetic value of a green lawn as well as safety issues to consider for keeping grass moist and growing. In my area of the country in Wyoming, keeping dry grass away from buildings and/or watering grass, cuts down on fire dangers. If you live in an area where summer and autumn wildfires are common, you know how quickly dry grass can turn into fuel for a wildfire.

Unless you live in an area that gets enough rainfall year round to keep your lawn green, sprinklers can help keep your lawn green. Of course, you could drag a hose over the lawn to water, but it will be very time intensive. Let’s review some advantages of using a sprinkler to water your lawn.


Simply put, a sprinkler makes watering your lawn easier. You can set a timer for the sprinkler to water on a certain schedule.

Time Saver

Sprinkler use will save you time. Let a sprinkler do the work instead of hand-watering with a hose. Even if you do choose to hand-spray your lawn occasionally, a sprinkler gives you the option to water your lawn quickly without having to do it yourself.

Tips for Watering Your Lawn

Utilize a Rain Gauge

Grass needs about one inch of moisture a week. A simple way to know if your grass is getting enough water or not is to put a rain gauge on your lawn in an area that the sprinkler can reach. If the lawn is getting rainfall, then it will be caught and measured in the rain gauge. Your choice of a sprinkler system can make up the difference. For example, if your lawn gets a half inch of rainfall one week, then you will need to water your lawn another half inch until the rain gauge reaches one inch for the week. If your lawn receives no rainfall that week, then you can water your lawn a full inch. It is important to make sure that the rain gauge is set in an area that will catch both the rain and sprinkler water so an accuracy in measuring.

Water in the Early Morning Hours

Watering in the morning is best because the sun is not yet at full strength. Avoid watering when the sun will dry out and evaporate the water before it reaches the roots. Additionally, watering in the evening or night is discouraged because water may sit on the grass blades all night and cause bacterias and molds to grow on it. Early morning is a perfect time because the air is cooler, winds are usually calmer, and the sun is not as intense. Ultimately, there will be less evaporation of water and more moisture to reach the roots of your lawn.

Water Slow and Steady

By watering too quickly, water will just run off and not soak into the roots. If you water slowly and evenly, the water will have a chance to soak down into the soil and reach the roots in the grass.

Observe Your Footprints

When you walk across your grass and it leaves footprints, you will know that it is time to water. Grass that is well moisturized should not leave footprints.

Here Are the Best Lawn Sprinkler Options of 2018:

In the chart below, you will find our top 10 rated lawn sprinklers.  For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on “Read Review.

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Lawn Sprinklers



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Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

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Orbit H2O Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

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Gilmour Heavy Duty Adjustable Circular Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

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Uxcell ABS 360 Degree Rotary Water Sprinkler

4.5 out of 5

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Rain Bird Brass Impact Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

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Nelson Eight Pattern Spray Head Stationary Sprinkler

3.8 out of 5

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Nelson Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

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GARDENA 1975 Aquazoom Oscillating Sprinkler

4.1 out of 5

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Noodlehead Flexible Lawn & Garden Sprinkler

3.3 out of 5

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Green Thumb Heavy Duty Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

4.2 out of 5

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Top Ten Best Lawn Sprinkler Options

  1.  Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
  2.  Orbit H2O Sprinkler
  3.  Gilmour Heavy Duty Adjustable Circular Sprinkler
  4.  Uxcell ABS 360 Degree Rotary Water Sprinkler
  5.  Rain Bird Brass Impact Sprinkler
  6.  Nelson Eight Pattern Spray Head Stationary Sprinkler
  7.  Nelson Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler
  8.  GARDENA 1975 Aquazoom Oscillating Sprinkler
  9.  Noodlehead Flexible Lawn & Garden Sprinkler
  10. Green Thumb Heavy Duty Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

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How to Choose the Best Lawn Sprinkler

Different Types

There are different types of lawn sprinklers which vary widely in design, size, cost, and complexity. There are nine main types of lawn sprinklers that I will review.

1. Impact Sprinklers

This type of lawn sprinkler is also called an impulse sprinkler. Invented in 1933 by Orton Englehart, it is still a very popular lawn sprinkler today. This is a type of sprinkler where the sprinkler head is driven in a circular motion by the force of the outgoing water. It pivots on a bearing that sits on a threaded attachment nut. An impact sprinkler makes a very clear clicking sound as it disperses water.

2. Drip Sprinklers

A drip sprinkler is a type of lawn sprinkler that is made to save water by allowing water to drip slowly into the soil thus reaching the roots of lawn and vegetation. Drip sprinklers can either be placed above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The design of a drip sprinkler is to place water directly into the soil to reduce evaporation. Drip irrigations systems, if designed well, can be more efficient than other types of sprinkler systems.

3. Oscillating Sprinklers

This type of sprinkler is one of the most common types of lawn sprinklers used today. Oscillating sprinklers are designed to spray out a fan-shaped curtain of water. The metal arm on this type of sprinkler oscillates back and forth while covering a rectangular area. Oscillating sprinklers are sometimes described as looking like a fan-shaped waterfall.

4. Underground Sprinkler System

This type of system uses pipes and hoses that are buried underground to deliver water to the sprinkler. While this type of sprinkler system initially takes longer to install, it can be a very efficient type of sprinkler. An advantage to this type of sprinkler system is that there is no need to have a hose on your lawn which connects to the sprinkler. A disadvantage is that it is difficult to remove the sprinkler during all seasons and it tends to protrude up from the lawn.

5. Fixed Sprinklers

A fixed sprinkler includes rings and shakers that cast water in a single pattern over a fixed area.

6. Rotating Sprinklers

A rotating sprinkler will have two or more arms that spin to disperse water in a complete circle.

7. Sprinkler Hoses

This type of irrigation system consists of hoses that lie on the ground while squirting water from tiny holes to cover a long, rectangular area.

8. Traveling Hoses

This type of sprinkler is often described as a little tractor that moves through the yard in a preset pattern. A traveling sprinkler will drag a hose behind it.

9. In-Ground

Just as it sounds, an in-ground sprinkler system is installed directly in the ground. At designated and preset times, an in-ground sprinkler system will pop up and cycle its way through the yard while watering the lawn.

Things to Consider When Buying a Lawn Sprinkler

What is the shape of your lawn? Some sprinklers water in a rectangular shape while others water in a circular pattern. It is much easier to work with the natural design of the sprinkler and your lawn shape as you consider a sprinkler that works for your lawn.

How much lawn do you have to water?  Think about how large of an area you have to water.  Some sprinklers will spray water further or more efficiently than others.

What is your sprinkler budget?  As with most things, some sprinklers cost more than others. Keep in mind how much you have to spend on a sprinkler system.

Product Types 

I have reviewed nine different lawn sprinkler options. Many of those sprinklers are spray or rotating types of sprinklers. Let’s compare the pros and cons of each.

Stationary Sprinklers

This type does not rotate.


  • High application rate over a small area
  • Works well in small, hard-to-reach areas
  • Can vary circular patterns from half circle to full circle, etc.


  • Covers less distance than rotary sprinkler heads
  • Not ideal for slopes (creates unnecessary water waste)

Rotary Sprinkler Heads

This type has arms that spin.


  • Can cover large distances (requires less sprinkler heads)
  • Great for big, open areas of lawn


  • Requires more water pressure than stationary sprinklers
  • Takes longer to water one area than stationary sprinklers
  • Some, especially the gear-driven kind, can be very loud

Our Top Pick for Best Lawn Sprinkler

After carefully reviewing the top ten lawn sprinklers on the market, I have picked the Uxcell ABS 360 Degree Rotary Water Sprinkler as my choice for the best lawn sprinkler.

best lawn sprinkler

Recommended Best Sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Eden 96213 Lawn & Garden Essential Oscillating Sprinkler | Water Sprinkler for Yard,Covers up to 3,600 sq. ft., Heavy Weight Base
3,358 Reviews
Eden 96213 Lawn & Garden Essential Oscillating Sprinkler | Water Sprinkler for Yard,Covers up to 3,600 sq. ft., Heavy Weight Base
  • 16 precision nozzles provide maximum coverage of large lawns or gardens
  • Easy-to-use, sliding tab range controls make coverage adjustments simple
  • Patented sealed turbo drive motor for smooth operation and a longer gear life
On SaleBestseller No. 2
Melnor 65131AMZ Mini Oscillator Sprinkler Bundle, Black, Yellow
  • Mini-sized oscillator with full-size coverage up to 4,000 sq. ft..Flo-thru base allows unit-to-unit connection so multiple sprinklers can be set up throughout the yardBacked by a Melnor Lifetime Limited Warranty. We stand behind our products.
  • Four-way adjustment for precision watering right where it’s needed
  • Dirt-Resistant Drive works with well water for smooth operation and extended life
Bestseller No. 3
Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler with Adjustable Spray, 3600-Square Foot Coverage
  • [CUSTOMIZABLE]: Completely customizable coverage patterns.Sprinkler Base Type : Stand
  • [RANGE]: Superior range control covers up to 3600 sq ft
  • [DURABLE]: Leak-resistant connection so you can water with peace of mind

Common Questions

Here are some of the most popular questions about sprinklers. 

  • What type of sprinkler is best for a circular lawn area?
  • What type of sprinkler is best for a rectangular area of lawn?
  • How much do I water my lawn each week?


I have reviewed why it is good to have a lawn sprinkler and also reviewed the different types of lawn sprinklers and their uses. There are advantages to lawn sprinklers along with considerations to think about when buying one. Simple tips to help you maximize your sprinkler use was also covered.

Furthermore, I have identified different features of each of our top ten picks of lawn sprinklers in the individual reviews and revealed our number one pick. Keep in mind that our number one pick may or may not be your number one pick. All ten sprinklers covered in this review are top rated sprinklers. I hope that this review helps you narrow down your options so that you can pick the best sprinkler to meet your specific lawn watering needs.

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Last update on 2024-05-22 at 13:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API